Editor’s note. This editorial appeared on page two of the September issue of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire issue online at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsSeptember2014.pdf
With just five weeks to go before the November 4 mid-term elections, the September edition of National Right to Life News is bursting with information not only about the pivotal elections but also about a ton of other developments important to our readers.
However let me begin with a report issued earlier this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). While it is small consolation—the damage was done—it is still important that this report from the nonpartisan investigatory arm of Congress proves conclusively that federally subsidized abortion coverage has become a widespread feature of Obamacare, just as NRLC predicted it would. (See story, page one.)
In the run up to its passage in 2010, President Obama repeatedly insisted that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” But National Right to Life had done its homework. We knew Obamacare contained provisions that would result in massive federal subsidies to help scores of millions of Americans buy health plans that cover elective abortion. And said so, alas to no avail.
In responding to the report, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, reminded us of the critical role Mr. Obama’s false assurances played.
“In an 11th hour ploy to garner a remnant of pro-life congressional Democrats absolutely needed for passage of ObamaCare, the President issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: ‘the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges’,” said Smith. “It turns out that those ironclad promises made by the President himself are absolutely untrue.”
The Hyde Amendment says that no federal funds “shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion,” but the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the Obamacare law. The House of Representatives has passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7), which would apply the traditional Hyde Amendment policy to all federal programs, including the Obamacare premium-subsidy program, and thereby limit federally subsidized plans to coverage of abortion in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has prevented Senate action on identical legislation.
“It is no surprise that the Obama Administration is spending billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the purchase of health plans that cover abortion on demand,” said National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “Those really responsible for this scandal are the lawmakers, such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Mark Udall of Colorado, who voted against the pro-life amendment that would have prevented this massive federal funding of abortion-covering plans, as well as those who voted to enact the bill after the amendment was rejected, such as Mark Pryor of Arkansas.”
Very important as well, as National Right to Life pointed out, in spite of assurances that there would be plans available in each state that do not fund elective abortions, the GAO found that in five states – Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont – every insurance plan currently sold on the exchange covers elective abortion. In addition, abortion-covering plans dominated the exchanges in California (96% cover elective abortion, 86 plans out of 90), Massachusetts (98%, 109 plans of 111), New York (95%, 405 plans of 426), and Oregon (90%, 92 plans of 102).
What do we need to know as the elections approach? For sure read NRL Political Director Karen Cross’s essential page one and page 10 stories. Likewise for NRLC President Carol Tobias’ terrific column on page 3. And for the nuts and bolts of a crucial component—how to register!—peruse the fine story written by Karen’s assistant, Elizabeth Spillman, that appears on page 27.
This edition runs the gamut from A-Z. Beyond elections and the confirmation that President Obama was utterly insincere (not exactly breaking news, come to think of it), we have many examples of the kinds of stories that our readers frequently tell me they love best.
For example, on page 7 Joleigh Little fills us in with the latest about pro-life educational outreach via pro-life camps. Her enthusiasm is infectious. But, then again, working each day with dedicated pro-life young people, how can your batteries not be recharged?
On page 26 a fascinating story about what unborn children learn in the womb. On page 24, there are two hilarious/life affirming stories that remind us (to quote the legendary Art Linkletter), kids do say the darndest things. (And don’t forget the story on page 22. Nothing quite affirms the humanity of our unborn brothers and sisters like ultrasound photos.)
Wisconsin RTL provides a thoughtful and very useful overview of how it has managed to continue, year after year, to lower the number of abortions. That’s on page 5.
And, of course, we would be shortchanging our readers if we didn’t discuss our benighted opposition which appears to sense it is losing in a big way. Take your pick—pages 8, 13-14, 17-18, and 24.
I am happy to say NRLC’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics has two stories in this issue—pages 9 & 20. Their stories are indispensable to alert us to attempts to keep us from spending our own money on our own health care and to pay for “counseling” whose only intention is to persuade vulnerable older citizens to request non-treatment.
And, please, take a minute to review the Petition on page 11 asking the U.S. Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child. And please also consider helping NRLC tell America that “Abortion Stops a Beating heart.” That essentially reading appears on page 4.
The September edition is huge—but could be much, much larger. That is why we have National Right to Life News Today, our Monday through Saturday feed that keeps you up to speed on the very, very latest happenings. If you are not receiving this invaluable resource in your email inbox, take ten seconds to register at www.nrlc.org/mailinglist.
Please let me know what you like, didn’t like, and would like to see more of in our monthly digital edition of the “pro-life newspaper of record.” Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all that you are doing for the unborn child, the newborn baby born with disabilities, and the medically vulnerable elderly. What an honor to be your colleague in arms.